This is an extract from my diary.
Mallorca: 27/04/13 – Pollenca, Rain, 14 centigrade.
Heavy constant rain; think of the Lake District on a rainy day! I got the coach to Pollenca and visited the municipal museum where there was an interesting collection of paintings, pottery and sculptures. The highlight however was a Tibetan mandala sand painting. In this traditional Tibetan/Asian art, coloured sand is channelled down tapering hollow pipes to draw incredibly detailed shapes. Usually the images are destroyed after completion, presumably to emphasise the impermanence of life. This relatively permanent example was displayed under gIass horizontally. I spent about half an hour absorbing the ‘presence’ and Buddhist symbolism. Most of the few visitors gave a cursory glance at this supreme work of art and walked out of the small room. Everyone to their own taste; I’ve done the same when looking at some paintings! This work of religious art was donated to the museum by the Dalai Lama.
Of the paintings an Antilio Boveri (early 1900s) had a room to himself. Some were pale Van Gogh-influenced landscapes but others captured the Mallorcan seascape/landscape vividly. According to the notes he also wrote short stories and was Argentinian.
After seeing round the museum and photographing the building which was a former monastery I walked to the main square and went inside the Lady of the Angel’s Parish Church. A visitor from another planet would no doubt get the impression that humans gain some sort of pleasure from gory crucifixtions and gloomy alcoves. The main altar was very ornate with predominantly dark gold colours. The much vaunted rose window looked poor in comparison with Durham Cathedral’s
It however, was the only bright, uplifting, redeeming feature in an otherwise dismal display of baroque over statement. The English version of the tourists’ leaflet provided some unintentional amusement, for example: “There are two graceful piles of holy water and some objects. . . remembering different events.”
From the church I headed to the 365 Calveri steps which I climbed in the steady rain. From the top the panoramic views were swathed in low cloud and drizzle. As the small chapel was closed I retraced my steps and stopped for a latte coffee in the Café del Calvari which provided welcome shelter. In the guide books a popular walk along the Ternelles is recommended; this was not much of a temptation for me considering the weather! Re-reading the guidebook on my return I realised I could have visited another museum/art gallery; the Marti Vicenc.
The coach back was punctual, as was the outgoing one and cost 3 euros return. A worthwhile trip for a rainy day!
Calvari Steps Municipal Museum